1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

The Journal Of The
Greenbrier Historical Society
Alderson, West Virginia
Written by Kenneth D. Swope

Alderson Bridges

From the time Alderson was but a wilderness the Greenbrier was forded above and below the present bridge.

In 1789 by legislative grant from the Virginia assembly to Elder John Alderson a ferry across the river was established.  This ferry was just below the present location of the railroad station.   On old maps the place is named Alderson's Ferry.

Greenbrier County Court records show that the County Court considered building a bridge across the river in the July term 1878.  It approached the Monroe County Court to bear one-half of the expense estimated at $14,000.  The two county courts seemingly did not get along very well, and it was not until the July term 1881 that agreement was reached.  Two sub-commissioners of the Courts were appointed, Samuel Price and James Withrow, who agreed on specifications, engineering and letting of the contract. The Pittsburgh Bridge Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., got the contract to build the bridge for $11,900.00. They must have quickly built the bridge by 1882, as in that year an abutment was not satisfactory according to the court records. 

The iron bridge was frequently in disrepair.  The minutes of the Town Council show the Council was often fussing at the two County Courts to do something about it.  On August 8, 1913, the Council authorized consultation with the County Courts about constructing a new bridge of concrete.  In February 1914,  the Greenbrier County Court ordered the Town of Alderson to repair the old iron bridge.  Town Council was indignant and flatly refused saying the town had not built the old bridge, had no authority to repair the bridge, that townspeople had paid taxes to help build all other county bridges, and finally the river was not the property of the town, but was State property.

In April 1914, the County Courts of Greenbrier and Monroe agreed to build a new bridge without sidewalks.  On May 5, 1914, Mayor McNeer issued a proclamation for a bond issue election of from $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 to be held May 26.  the vote was 191 for, 2 against, for one sidewalk, and 186 for, 2, against, for two sidewalks.  The Concrete Steel Bridge Co., Clarksburg, W. Va., had a contract to build the bridge for $20,600.00.  On October 30, 1914, a contract was made with the company to build the two sidewalks for $2900.00.  So, the roadway belonged to the State and the sidewalks belonged to the town.

The bridge has served for 50 years.  It is narrow, dilapidated and a danger to pedestrians.  The sides are just high enough so that automobile passengers cannot see the magnificent view, east of west, of the beautiful Greenbrier.

A new bridge is badly need but cannot be planned until a final decision is made of the location of Interstate Highway 64.  (More on the bridges)  

Next, Railroads

The contents contained in this series is copyrighted and the sole property of The Greenbrier Historical Society - Lewisburg, WV
Used by permission - November 18, 2008